Bills blitz Dolphins in 19-0 win

Left tackle Bryant McKinnie and the Miami Dolphins had trouble

handling the Buffalo Bills’ blitz during the game.

And McKinnie and company had difficulty coming up with answers

afterward, too, following a 19-0 loss on Sunday that put a dent in

the Dolphins’ playoff chances.

”Um,” McKinnie said, beginning to laugh uncomfortably when

asked what went wrong, ”I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you.”

The patchwork offensive line – the Dolphins’ season-long

weakness – gave up a season-worst seven sacks and was part of a

unit that managed just 103 yards and six first downs against an AFC

East rival that had little to play for after being eliminated from

playoff contention a week earlier.

”I don’t know,” added right tackle Tyson Clabo of a line

that’s surrendered a franchise season-worst 58 sacks. ”Obviously

that wasn’t our goal to have that stat…”

The Dolphins (8-7) had a three-game winning streak snapped and

find themselves in a convoluted mix of four teams – Baltimore

(8-7), San Diego (8-7) and Pittsburgh (7-8) – competing for the

AFC’s final playoff spot. Miami needs help while closing at home

against the New York Jets next weekend.

The Dolphins’ loss clinched the AFC East for New England.

Buffalo’s blitz got to starter Ryan Tannehill on the third play

from scrimmage. And the pass rush didn’t stop until he was sacked a

final time on his second-to-last snap of the game.

In closing their home schedule, the Bills (6-9) won consecutive

games for the first time since Weeks 2-3 of last season.

”That was a pretty good beating,” Bills defensive coordinator

Mike Pettine said. ”They were flying around. They were getting off

the ball and they just looked a step faster than Miami did all

day.”

Veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams and rookie cornerback

Nickell Robey had two sacks apiece. Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes

and Da’Norris Searcy added one each in helping Buffalo to its first

shutout in over two years – and first at Ralph Wilson Stadium since

a 21-0 win over Miami on Dec. 17, 2006.

The seven sacks upped Buffalo’s total to 56 this season,

breaking its previous high of 50 during a 14-game season in

1964.

”It’s a nice consolation for where we are,” Kyle Williams

said. ”I think you’ve seen today potentially what we can do.”

The defense took the burden off a depleted offense led by backup

Thad Lewis starting in place of rookie EJ Manuel, out because of a

swollen left knee.

And the Bills’ offense finished without its top three receivers.

Rookie Marquise Goodwin had a right knee injury late in the first

quarter. Fellow rookie Robert Woods was ejected for punching safety

Reshad Jones in the facemask in the third quarter. Veteran starter

Stevie Johnson was excused to be with his family following the

death of his mother.

Dan Carpenter essentially sealed the win by hitting a 45-yard

field goal to cap the Bills’ second possession. Carpenter finished

hitting all four attempts against his former team, and Fred Jackson

had 111 yards of offense, including a 9-yard touchdown.

”I’m very proud of this team,” rookie head coach Doug Marrone

said. ”It was an honor to be on that sideline and watch those guys

perform.”

Lewis, who grew up in Miami, finished 15 of 25 for 193 yards and

an interception. He improved to 2-2 this season, with both wins

coming against the Dolphins.

Miami crossed midfield only three times, converted just two of

14 third-down chances, and managed just six first downs, including

two in the second half.

Tannehill finished 10 of 27 for 82 yards and was briefly knocked

out of the game with a left knee injury after Williams’ second sack

early in the fourth quarter. Matt Moore took over and provided

Miami a short-lived spark by completing a 50-yard pass to Brian

Hartline. He followed by throwing an interception to Jim

Leonhard.

Though Tannehill said his knee’s fine, he wasn’t pleased with

the offense’s outing.

”It wasn’t one thing, it wasn’t one area,” Tannehill said.

”Every aspect of the game, we failed to step up to the

plate.”

NOTES: The Bills have three players with at least 10 sacks –

Mario Williams (13), Kyle Williams (10 1/2) and Jerry Hughes (10) –

for only the second time since 1995. And they’re the first NFL team

with three since the 2000 Saints. … The Dolphins were shut out

for the first time since closing last season with a 28-0 loss at

New England, and were swept by Buffalo. … Tannehill has 3,709

yards passing to move into 10th on the Dolphins’ single-season

list. The top-nine spots are held by Dan Marino. … Marrone

revealed after the game that DT Marcell Dareus was benched for the

first quarter for violating undisclosed team rules.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org